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SDPA Pens Response to Proposed Revisions to the PANRE Model

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) has recently proposed a series of changes to the PANRE designed to “maintain and honor the broad-based knowledge that has in many ways defined and facilitated the growth and mobility of our profession while also recognizing that – in real practice – patients can be served well through PAs’ consultation of resources.” The proposed changes include the addition of a specialty focused exam that would assess “knowledge PAs need to practice safely and effectively in their chosen area of practice.” For the specialty-focused exam, three performance levels would be established. At the highest level, examinees would be eligible for a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in that specialty provided they meet related CME and experiential requirements. NCCPA has invited public comment on these changes.

SDPA’s Board, on behalf of its members, is not yet able to support the changes in their current proposed form for the following reasons:

• SDPA does not currently support a Certificate of Added Qualification for the dermatology specialty. SDPA developed an educational process currently called the Distance Learning Initiative (DLI) that results in a certificate of completion for this Diplomate program in dermatology. Currently, the SPDA, in collaboration with a psychometric testing company, is in process of developing a new and revised DLI Diplomate program that will launch at the end of 2016. This psychometric evaluation will help to determine the standards to which we expect all dermatology PAs should be held.

• NCCPA’s new recertification 10 year cycle introduced two new forms of CME, Self Assessment and Performance Improvement. Members are just learning about these new requirements and specialty organizations are currently creating both Self Assessment and Performance Improvement CME opportunities for our members that are both affordable and meaningful. SDPA recommends that NCCPA slow the process of making further revisions to the recertification process until all PAs have transitioned into the 10 year cycle and acclimated themselves to the new requirements.

• PAs working in a specialty that does not have an assigned NCCPA recertification exam would most likely default to taking the NCCPA Family Medicine proctored exam. Such an exam would cover an extensive breadth of general medical and surgical information that many specialty PAs do not use in their day-to-day practices. This would fail to provide a level of assurance to patients that specialty PAs are being assessed within their area of practice.

SDPA respectfully asks NCCPA to continue the discussion of these proposed changes and hopes that the conclusion is one that is in the best interests of PAs everywhere.

Adapted from the SDPA response to NCCPA request for public comment.




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